A Salt Lake City Tour-de-Seltz: 5 Local Options for Your Seltzer Summer
Beer & Spirits
As summer warms up and our evenings stretch out, we look to refreshing comforts that’ll cool us down while we navigate a post-pandemic world. Many formed bonds with seltzers such as White Claw and Press during their surge of popularity within the last couple of years, but there’s a healthy pool of locally made seltzers to choose from as well—local breweries Epic, Shades, Uinta, Squatters and Grid City can provide fodder for your steamy seltzer summer. With flavors such as Cherry Lime, Pineapple & Mint, Raspberry, Peach and a fruity Rosé, your bubbly summer companions come in large supply.
Epic Brewing Company
Pakkā Cherry Lime
Within the refreshing world of hard seltzers, Epic’s Pakkā offerings feel especially crisp and fresh. The flavors here—our choice was the Cherry Lime—sit on the reserved end, more of a subtle augmentation to the carbonated fizz than an explosive gut punch. Coming right out the fridge, the lime’s tang dominated the first sip. As the seltzer quickly descended closer toward room temperature—as is wont to happen during a Utah summer, especially with outdoor drinking—the citrus bite mellowed out and the richer cherry flavor came to the front for a pleasantly sweet finish. Epic’s Pakkā seltzers prove a safe bet if you really, really wanna convince yourself that you’re *not* drinking alcohol while you put away a baker’s dozen by the poolside. –AL
Grid City Beer Works
Bubble Works Rosé Hard Seltzer
Grid City Beer Works’ Bubble Works collection harbors a nail-biting posse of four hard seltzers including the Aperitif, Cucumber Lime, Hoppy Hard and the Rosé. Although it comes in blazing hot at an 8.2% ABV, this Rosé seltzer is the perfect sipping experience to cool off under the sun. Pouring this serving felt electric, as the mild carbonation shot sparkling bubbles off the top of my cup above the ruby-red body of the Rosé. The first sip introduces a refreshing, traditional Rosé taste with a crisp landing on my tongue. Not as sweet as expected at first, the dried raspberry, freeze-dried tart cherry, prickly pear and muscat canelli grape juice introduced themselves—in that order—as the drink settled itself into a warmer temperature. Be warned: At this particular ABV, this little number might be a bit TOO easy to drink. You’ll be fine, right? –BV
Livli Pineapple & Mint
Of the local seltzers we sampled, Shades’ Livli brand carries some of the most personality—a hard seltzer for the flavor connoisseurs. Following suit with Shades’ penchant for brewing experimentation—their local favorite Pina Colada sour, their “Slurry” beer concoctions—the fruit-herb blend of the Pineapple & Mint seltzer strives for uniqueness first. Interestingly enough, the individual notes of pineapple and mint didn’t really speak during my tasting. Instead, the combination of the two made for a creamy fruit flavor not unlike that of the summertime classic Creamsicles. If the rich flavors and textures of this seltzer make it a less-than-likely candidate for multi-can consumption, the Livli’s hefty body does offer a worthy choice if your desires lean toward sitting back and “nursing one for the flavor.” –AL
Squatters Brewing Co.
Grandeur Peak Peach Spiked Sparkling Water
Call me Princess Peach, because this Grandeur Peak Peach Spiked Sparkling Water made me feel like royalty rescued from the grip of danger! If anything has been able to deconstruct a peach and reconstruct it into a light and boozy version of itself, it’s Squatters’ Grandeur Peak. The fuzzy sensation that greets your mouth on the first sip comfortably rolls out the red carpet for the star of the show, the well-rounded peach flavor. Crisp, fruity and almost creamy, this low-carbonated, highly refreshing sparkling drink offers a lighter option than Wild Basin’s Cucumber Peach, without that seltzer’s consequential bloating and lingering malt-liquor taste. Coming in at a safe 4.5% ABV, you can easily knock a few of these back before needing to actually be put in a
tower for a little princess time out. –BV
Uinta Brewing’s Westwater seltzer line doesn’t reach for the same eye-and-tongue-catching novelty as other local brands; instead, the brewery strives for perfecting the basics and carries the tried-and-true trio of lime, mango and raspberry. That said, our taste test of the raspberry flavor revealed that simplicity doesn’t equate blandness. Of the bunch, Westwater Raspberry has some of the most naturalistic tasting notes, avoiding candy-like artificiality and leaning into the true taste of a fruited drink. If some mainstream seltzers lean so crisp that they verge toward tonic and some present themselves more as high-falutin concoctions, Westwater sits in that balanced middle ground—far from bland, but even farther from being a one-sip exercise in experimental perfection. She’s the resident cutie who won’t bite but can still give you a real good time. –AL